Some people use the terms pressure wash and power wash completely interchangeably. Though the two washing techniques have similarities, they aren't the same thing. Sometimes pressure washing may be preferable to power washing, and other times, power washing could be necessary. Here's what you need to know.
It's easy to understand why many people get confused: both pressure washing and power washing look virtually identical. Both of these types of washing involve a stream of water that comes out of a hose at a high pressure. This pressurized water is shot out as a thin jet, which then cleans off the surface that it is aimed at.
Pressure and power washing are both designed to clean off stains and ground-in dirt, primarily through the use of water alone. Over time, most surfaces build up a thick layer of oils, dirt, and debris. Pressure and power washing blow all of this dirt and debris away, revealing a like-new surface. Often, power and pressure washing can also reveal issues with the surface that need to be repaired, such as loose or damaged concrete or broken brick.
As they both use a pressurized system, both of these types of washing can be very dangerous if they are used improperly. Getting hit with a stream of pressurized water can cause substantial injury, and pressurized water can cause property damage if the pressure is set too high. Thankfully, both types can be set at different pressures for different applications, providing some control.
Multiple grades of power and pressure washer are also available, ranging from the "at home" power washer to commercial-grade power washers.
The difference between pressure washing and power washing is that power washing isn't just done with water; it can also be done with heat. A power washer can heat the water for even more cleaning power, which is often necessary for caked-on dirt, oil stains, and other types of extremely resilient surface issues. Most jobs aren't going to need a power washer, but a power washer can frequently complete commercial jobs faster than a pressure washer.
However, power washers usually aren't used with any type of cleaning solution; that's usually reserved for pressure washers. Instead, power washers rely purely on their pressurized water and the heat of the water, which can dissolve many chemical agents.
A power washer should also never be used on anything that could potentially be delicate. Instead, power washers are usually used on driveways, sidewalks, exterior brick, decks, and patios. Power washers can also be used on some types of fences. They will damage many other things.
Due to the added heat, power washers may be especially desirable when cleaning up things such as mold or mildew, such as during the process of mold remediation.
Though pressure washing may not be as aggressive as power washing, it is almost always suitable for the same tasks. Pressure washing may just take multiple passes to get some staining or dirt off that a power washer might do in a single go. Though this process may take longer, it has less of a chance of potentially damaging materials.
Most people are only going to require pressure washing. Indeed, power washing can damage your business, home, or vehicles if you aren't careful. Either way, both power washing and pressure washing should only be completed by a professional, due to the capacity for damage that both methods have.
To get a quote for either pressure washing or power washing and other cleaning services today, contact American Clean & Seal. We can help you decide what cleaning power you need.